Trevor Hiltbrand appeared on episode number 522 of Shark Tank US with his brain supplement, giving each of us a reason to brainstorm about the pros and cons of his product.
While his idea had some glaring holes, he ultimately sealed the deal with Barbara by giving up 40% of his equity for $75,000.
As a millennial or Gen-Z, we all have our share of difficulties with low attention spans. Trevor wanted to fix this with his nootropic brain supplement for enhancing one’s memory and other cognitive abilities.
He made this idea into a reality by creating “brain pills”, and selling 900 units of them before appearing on national television.
Cerebral Success is no longer in business. Entrepreneur Trevor Hiltbrand started well and made some early profits. However, he shut his company down in 2019 to focus on other ventures.
However, the products, rebranded into Smart X, are still available on platforms like Amazon.
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What is Cerebral Success?
Remember when you couldn’t memorize a long and tricky math formula for your exam? We’ve all had instances where we couldn’t figure out a crucial piece of memory.
Often, it would be something harmless like forgetting what happened on a specific Shark Tank episode. But sometimes, you might forget your significant other’s birthday. And that could turn ugly.
Maybe something like that happened with Trevor Hiltbrand, the CEO, and founder of Cerebral Success. He launched a memory-enhancing supplement that would allow students to focus more and memorize important details better.
SmartX – the rebranded Cerebral Success product – uses a nootropic solution to enhance the cognitive functions of the user.
The key objective of Cerebral Success is to not only increase the energy of the customer but to also aid the other functions of the brain.
For instance, there are energy drinks and caffeinated beverages that would allow students to remain alert and energized throughout the day. But you couldn’t expect to focus well after drinking 21 cups of coffee, could you?
This is the primary difference between a normal supplement and Cerebral Success. They claim to use ingredients that are not only for energizing the user, but also for improving their focus, retention, and holistic cognitive functions.
Moreover, the so-called revolutionary brain pills would enhance the cognitive abilities of the user, while also decreasing stress levels and anxiety.
The original claim is that the supplement does not have any side effects, but that still remains to be seen.
According to its marketing, Cerebral Success requires regular intake. Only after a proper course over a fixed duration will the students start seeing results. But once they do, their overall cognitive abilities will improve.
For instance, they will have better memory retention abilities, fewer incidents of memory loss, along with slightly strengthened brain cell walls.
The product also claims to increase proper oxygen circulation and thus improve the concentration level of the users. Although Cerebral Success has had a huge internet presence, we cannot prove its merit.
The brain supplement does not have any FDA approval or scientific backing to support its claims, something that Trevor was very clear about since the beginning of his pitch.
Despite this major setback, he sealed the deal with Barbara, a Shark who is notorious for pulling out of deals for flimsy reasons. But when she connected with Trevor for this product, it became more legitimate in the eyes of the viewers.
This could be one of the reasons why the product enjoyed some early success before Trevor decided to shut the company down.
With proper marketing, Cerebral Success soon acquired the mantle of the “most reliable brain supplement” in the market, even without the necessary FDA approval or pieces of scientific research.
In the episode, Trevor mentioned that he would only market his product to college students, as they will be his primary buyers.
He also stated that his supplement provided a safe alternative to Adderall, a drug that requires a written prescription from a doctor.
While Adderall originally treats ADHD, college students also take drugs illegally during exams to improve their focus.
However, using the drug without a prescription is illegal and unsafe, with unknown side effects for different people.
With Cerebral Success, students can take a legal brain supplement for the same purposes while enjoying better, and clinically proven results.
Since Cerebral Success is no longer in business, it’s harder to come across their products. But you can still get the brain supplement on select platforms like Amazon if you want to try and see the results for yourself.
Cerebral Success Shark Tank Pitch – What Happened on the Show?
It’s not easy to remain calm when four Sharks are circling you dangerously, slowly, and brutally ripping you and your business model apart.
Fortunately, real sharks don’t have a taste for businesses, no matter how bloody they are. But Trevor was dealing with a bunch of slightly more dangerous creatures – the Shark Tank judges. And they weren’t impressed with his product.
Trevor Hiltbrand started nicely enough. He introduced his brain supplement to the judges through a somewhat over-the-top and exaggerated act and demonstration.
He recounted the problems that college students face with memory retention, lack of focus, and so on.
However, he forgot to mention a tiny detail – his original ask of investment, something that Kevin noted with a quip that Trevor himself forgot his pills, therefore not mentioning what he wanted.
Trevor took the banter in good spirits and reenacted his presentation, now including that he wanted $75,000 in exchange for 20% of his company in Cerebral Success.
In the presentation, Trevor also mentioned that he didn’t have any FDA approval or other scientific claims to support the legitimacy of his product.
He added that while he had conducted due research on the effects and benefits of each ingredient of his product individually, he couldn’t provide any substantial proof on how well all the ingredients work together combined.
Robert, who was originally interested in the scientific aspect of the product, moved on to the next big question – the numbers.
Trevor presented that he had sold 900 bottles of his supplements so far. He also mentioned that each bottle of Cerebral Success costs him about $10 to make, and he sells it at a respectable $70 each.
Despite Trevor’s constant claims, Mark and Barbara weren’t convinced about the legitimacy of the product, saying that having no scientific backing or approval is a big cause for worry.
Daymond was on the same tangent as the two sharks and immediately went out because of a lack of proper proof and scientific evidence.
Robert also went out, stating that just because the product has a large market, doesn’t mean people will buy it.
With two Sharks out, Trevor got nervous and made a mistake, mentioning how a college student would impulse purchase the product during their exams.
This upset Mark, who fired back at Trevor about the lack of ethics, especially after reading the warning sign on the bottle that customers shouldn’t purchase it without proper consultation or if they are using other drugs.
Kevin didn’t care about the integrity but went out as he didn’t see any window for a good return on his investment.
Mark said that he would have taken the deal if Trevor needed the money to conduct his research and get proper evidence, and not for taking this business forward without proof.
Ultimately, Barbara spoke that she connected with Trevor’s product on a personal level. She mentioned that her husband and child, who went to an Ivy League school, had focus and concentration issues.
She also learned through them that college students often use Adderall for studying, something that is neither ethical nor healthy.
Did Cerebral Success Secure a Deal?
As Barbara related to the product on a personal level, she offered Trevor a deal of $75,000 in exchange for 40% of the company.
Trevor tried to counter the same offer at 37%, but Barbara refused. Ultimately, they shook on Barbara’s original offer.
The episode ended with Trevor securing a promising deal for the future, and Barbara looking keen to work on a product that she believed in on a personal level.
Cerebral Success Shark Tank Update – What Happened After the Show
As of 2022, Cerebral Success is no longer in business, but its products are still available on platforms like Amazon.
What started as a promising venture saw its door closing in 2019, with the CEO Trevor Hiltbrand shutting down the company for multiple reasons.
After appearing on Shark Tank, Cerebral Success enjoyed its fair share of success with Barbara’s help. The Shark/Mentor posted a LinkedIn article where she quipped, “The absolute worst pitch I heard this season was from Cerebral Success”.
While the jibe must have hurt, she went on to compliment Trevor for his resilience as well as Cerebral Success for being one of her best investments from the show.
After getting the deal, Trevor rebranded his product into SmartX by changing the packaging, marketing, and price point.
After the episode aired, the first agenda of business for both Barbara and Trevor was to inject some authenticity into the product’s claims.
As such, Trevor conducted a study of Cerebral Success’ SmartX pills, according to which the pills enhance the processing pace of the brain by 12%, memory retention by 13%, and focus by 55% after just a week of regular dosage.
After citing scientific evidence, Barbara helped Trevor launch his products in 1,100 GNC stores, a feat that she achieved through a single phone call. And here are my friends, not even picking up my call in emergencies!
The initial success of Cerebral Success came as news to the general public in Barbara’s all-star update.
In her routine get-together, all the most successful entrepreneurs that she has invested in come together for networking and having fun.
Trevor gained an invite too, which reveals that Barbara made a lot of money off the company, even though the actual turnover figures are not clear.
The company had a huge social media presence as well, but that came to a stop in 2015. Barbara’s second-last post on Twitter featuring Cerebral Success came on 21 February of that year, when the veteran investor was posing with some of her top entrepreneurs.
Eventually, the business started going inconsistent under Trevor’s control. In 2019, he decided to sell off the company for an undisclosed fee.
Trevor then started a couple of other successful business ventures and took on the role of CEO of Project Solar.
Is Cerebral Success Still in Business?
The products of Cerebral Success are still available on Amazon. However, the company’s official website is shut down and its online presence diminished. Nootropic Brain Supplement
Recording an annual revenue of $1,119,000 million in 2021, the company is alive, but barely, and certainly not in the hands of Trevor Hiltbrand.
|Company Name||Cerebral Success|
|Product||Nootropic Brain Supplement|
|Asked For||$75,000 for 20% Equity|
|Final Deal||$75,000 for 40% Equity|
|Episode||Season 5, Episode 27|
|Air Date||25 April 2014|
|Business Status||Out of Business|
|Net Worth||Not Available|
Meet the Cerebral Success Founder
When someone has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with four very vocal Sharks and come out of the episode with a deal, you’ve got to know more about the person.
That’s exactly what Trevor Hiltbrand did. As he introduced his product, the other Sharks, save for Barbara herself, were adamant that Trevor is doing it wrong, and were very opinionated about it.
Trevor, although nervous initially, managed to sell his product to the point where he got a deal from Barbara.
You already know about the success story of Cerebral Success and Trevor through the previous sections.
But what about the background of the man? How did Trevor get into pharmaceuticals, and what compelled him to develop a brain-enhancing pill? Let’s find out.
Trevor Hiltbrand, the founder and CEO of Cerebral Success, set up his company in 2011. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree.
In the same year, he launched his company straight after his graduation while he was interning as a Student Business Manager at another start-up called the Daily Universe.
Even after launching his own company, Trevor worked in other start-ups as well. For instance, he interned for four months at a company called BoomStartup in 2013, while simultaneously developing his own brand of business and product.
Being a college student himself, Trevor knew the market for brain enhancement pills, especially if he could develop one that was safe to consume, organic, and legal without active prescriptions.
He then set to work to create his dream project, and successfully curated the product by integrating 12 different ingredients.
He presented his venture to Shark Tank US in 2014, getting a good deal with Barbara and expanding his venture across the whole country.
He also took on another challenge in 2015, becoming the CEO of Transparent Labs and expanding the company to over $30MM in sales, a feat that is even more impressive considering that he was also running Cerebral Success at the same time.
In October 2019, he co-founded Kanibi, a company selling hemp-based products, and resigned from his post as the CEO of Cerebral Success.
His most recent venture came in 2020 when he took up the position of the CEO of Project Solar, where Trevor is now disrupting the Solar Sales market heavily.
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Cerebral Success – Pros and Cons
Just like the Sharks, even the general public is on the fence about the legitimacy and effectiveness of Cerebral Success’s brain-enhancing supplements.
When there are so many differing opinions, it’s only natural that the product has both – a fair share of pros and cons.
- A good alternative to Adderall: One of the key selling points of Cerebral Success is that it allows students to improve their concentration levels without using Adderall. As Cerebral Success is organic, legal without prescriptions, and safe to consume in general cases, it trumps Adderall, which possesses addictive features.
- Contains a good blend of nootropic elements: Cerebral Success’s pills are made up of different effective nootropic ingredients that work well together. The chemistry is safe, organic, and somewhat effective according to multiple clinical reports.
- Clinically proven positive results: After the episode aired, Barbara and Trevor together collaborated with multiple sources to run clinical tests on their product. According to the reports, Cerebral Success provided positive nourishment to the brain by improving the user’s focus, mental agility, and so on. It does so by using good vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients.
- No guarantee of effectiveness: Even though the company ran tests to prove its effectiveness, there is no actual guarantee on whether the pills work.
- Contains caffeine and some filler ingredients: Apart from the primary nootropic elements, Cerebral Success pills also contain some filler elements along with caffeine, which might not necessarily be good for the user.
- High price: There is a lot of debate on whether Cerebral Success is effective or not. In such a scenario, the company cannot justify the expensive price tag of the product, especially with no guarantee of its success.
What Are Customers Saying About Cerebral Success?
Despite the blend of pros and cons in the product, the brain-enhancement pills created by Cerebral Success have got several positive reviews, especially in terms of performance and efficiency.
The general outlook is that the pills do have a certain effect on people’s concentration and anxiety levels.
One verified customer quoted, “I don’t know if it’s working or if it’s the placebo effect, but these pills help me sit for a long time to concentrate on a single task, something which I couldn’t do before”.
While many have rated the product as effective, many others claim that the product did nothing for them. Among many of these reviews, the consensus is that these pills are just gimmicky and do not have an actual productive function.
In fact, some buyers believe that it’s better to have a cup of coffee than waste their money on an expensive product such as this.
Another YouTube reviewer talked about the product positively, stating that a friend of his has been using Cerebral Success for over a month now, and is experiencing great results.
He also mentions that, unlike other energy drinks that contain a lot of caffeine, Cerebral Success won’t interfere with integral functions of life such as studying, sleeping, working out, and exercising.
It’s a good thing that a professional chess player and teacher is using Cerebral Success for improved concentration and relaxation while playing as well.
The recent reviews, after Trevor closed off the company, however, have been concerning.
For instance, one user pointed out that the product, which is now available on Amazon, does not taste the way it used to before, and thus questioned the legitimacy of the pills that are now available on the market.
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What is the Science Behind Cerebral Success’s Efficiency?
We all look to Science when we want answers about something that we don’t understand fully. Fortunately, Trevor knew what he was doing, and he based his product on Science’s recommendations.
For successful results, he incorporated Huperzine A, Cognizin, and B-Vitamins as the primary three elements of the product. With a blend of these ingredients, product intake might lead to heightened senses, including less tiredness, more energy, and better focus/concentration.
The claims have been backed ultimately by multiple clinical tests. However, there is no certification or guarantee that the product will work the same for everyone.
How to Take Cerebral Success’s SmartX Pills?
For efficient results, we recommend that you take 1 capsule each day. This will allow you to test the results and also get an estimate of your tolerance.
You can increase your intake after a minimum of 4 days by consuming 2 pills instead of one, but only if you feel you require it.
It’s better to take the pills with a glass of water. You can consume the pill in the morning if you need an extra boost for the day.
Otherwise, taking them in the afternoon is a great way to eliminate mid-day laziness. In case you overdose on the pills, please seek medical help as soon as possible.
What are the ingredients present in Cerebral Success’s Pills?
The three main ingredients in the pill are Huperzine A, Cognizin, and B-Vitamins.
Apart from that, it is a blend of several nootropic elements and other ingredients including Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine Anhydrous, Bacopa Monnieri Extract, DHA, Schizandroi-A, L-Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Phosphatidyl Serine, and Vinpocetine.
All of these ingredients have different functions to improve the efficiency of a person’s brain and other bodily functions. When combined, they provide a fool-proof solution to providing enhanced concentration, focus, mental agility, and so on.
Cerebral Success Competitors
No matter what industry you’re in, or how innovative your product is, you cannot be the sole businessman in your arena.
That’s the case with Cerebral Success as well. Many competitors were offering brain-enhancement pills. Some lost themselves to brutal competition, and some are still there, grappling for dominance.
1. NEURIVA Plus Brain Supplement:
Quite like Cerebral Success, NEURIVA Plus Brain Supplement focuses on four integral functions – memory, focus, concentration, and cognitive abilities of a person.
The objective of the product is almost parallel to why Trevor came up with the idea of Cerebral Success.
There is a slight similarity in the ingredients of the two products as well. For instance, Cerebral Success relies heavily on the positive influence of Vitamin-B elements. Similarly, NEURIVA Plus contains Vitamins B6 and B12 as two of their primary ingredients.
The good thing about NEURIVA is that it tastes better than Cerebral Success, as the supplements are in the form of Strawberry Gummies that customers can just chew for effective results.
However, there is a huge difference in the price point of the products, with Cerebral Success providing more or less the same thing at a much cheaper rate.
2. NeuroIgnite Nootropic Focus Brain Support:
This product is highly similar to Cerebral Success as well. It focuses on enhancing the cognitive capabilities of the brain, primarily when it comes to memory retention and reducing foggy memories.
The product, like Cerebral Success, targets students primarily as it will allow them to study and prepare better. However, the student body is not the only target market of the product.
They tend to have full-time employees as their customers as well, with the product serving as a good supplement for their energy and cognitive boost for a long day of work.
The price point and ingredients are somewhat similar, but not parallel. Cerebral Success takes an edge over this competitor in terms of marketability, reliability, and performance.
3. Procera Advanced Brain Supplement:
Like the other competitors, Procera’s advanced brain supplement is meant for cognitive enhancement as well. It uses a 3-in-one nootropics solution to provide the same results as Cerebral Success.
However, here, the emphasis is more on reducing anxiety levels and calming other stress receptors.
The use of Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Ginseng, and other such elements indicate that the product works on memory and brain-boosting functions by eliminating stress and anxiety from the user’s mind.
4. Ageless Brain:
While Cerebral Success mainly targets the student body as its primary market, Ageless Brain extends their marketability to all age groups.
They cater mostly to the older generation who might be having trouble with their memory and other cognitive functions such as concentration, thinking, and so on.
The supplement uses elements such as caffeine, L Theanine, and Phosphatidylserine to offer clarity of thought, a sharper mind, and better memory.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
1. Do I have to take any precautions before using SmartX?
The only precaution is that you should not be taking the pills if you are a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother. Customers taking other drugs regularly should also consult a professional before taking SmartX alongside them.
2. Are there any side effects to using SmartX?
SmartX contains some ingredients that might cause minor inconveniences like upset stomachs, headaches, or anxiety.
However, most users do not report any fishy or out-of-the-ordinary effects after consuming SmartX pills. To remain on the safe side, however, we urge you to take proper medical opinion before consuming it.
3. Does SmartX contain any addictive ingredients?
SmartX is composed of all organic ingredients and therefore does not contain any addictive or harmful ingredients.
4. Is Cerebral Success clinically tested and proven?
After Barbara’s recommendation, Trevor did run clinical tests to check the efficiency of his product and several reports suggest positive results.